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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of African Studies and Development
Title Impact of land tenure change on subsistence agriculture: Implication on farm productivity of the farming system in Bukoba district, Tanzania
Volume 3
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 33-44
URL http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JASD/article-full-text-pdf/5F5F4799585
Discussions on land tenure change in Africa often lack an appreciation of farming systems and their
structure. This disconnection is remarkable because tenure change is often seen as means to enhance
the productivity of African agriculture. In this article, we examine the structure of the agro-ecological
system and its productivity in relation to land tenure arrangements in the banana-based farming system
in northwest Tanzania. We analysed the evolving land tenure arrangements and changes in agricultural
productivity. We found that customary tenure and land use practices have been destabilized by tenure
reforms including those programmes facilitating individual control of previously communal lands. Like
elsewhere in Africa, tenure reforms have increased the competition for land, although low productivity
land is being targeted in Bukoba. By ignoring the morphology of the dominant farming system, the
reforms are not likely to result in an increase in agricultural productivity. This paper challenges the
communal-private ownership opposition that continues to dominate the debate on land tenure reforms
in Africa. It proposes a perspective on tenure reform that takes account of the farming system and the
specific tenure arrangements for different land use practices that it comprises.

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